Thursday, May 01, 2014

Significant Precision

Lawyers believe that they are trained to speak and write extremely precisely, particularly while in a deposition or courtroom.

It is pounded into their heads over and over again in Law School how important it is to communicate precisely. The law can be a very technical subject, hinging on very fine distinctions. They are shown example after example of the results of imprecise communication, and how it can be exploited.

Compared to "normal" people, they DO communicate precisely. After all, imprecision in a lawyers speech can lead to their clients losing a great deal of money, or going to jail.

They don't come within shouting distance, of the precision of communication required and regularly practiced, by either doctors or engineers.

When you internalize the notion that imprecision in your communication can kill someone... or lots of people... particularly after watching it happen... That changes things entirely.

At the same time, both engineers and doctors can be MADDENINGLY vague about anything they consider unimportant, irrelevant, uninteresting, or so basic as to be understood by them as unnecessary to explain.

Even... perhaps especially... when that is exactly what you are asking about, or need to know.

This can make for some... interesting... problems.